The world opened up by the war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine is not just another "local" slaughter. It marks a leap in the orientation and reorganization of the whole capitalist system towards and for the war. As it could not be otherwise, it has accelerated what was already shaping up to be the greatest transfer of income from labor to capital since the second imperialist world war.
If the permanent characteristic of the decadent capitalism in which we live is the contradiction between (capital) growth and (human) development, now this contradiction is developing more and more as an open and generalized antagonism between the smooth running of the system and human life in all its manifestations.
From the dismantling of health systems in the countries of the most concentrated national capitals, to the massive famines in the semi-colonial countries that did not even get to industrialize, there abounds everyday examples of this fundamental contradiction being accelerated with the increase of imperialist tensions.
And if the ruling class navigates and organizes all this destruction by recovering rates of profitability for its capital at the expense of the workers, the petty bourgeoisie and its luxuriant excesses have, at best, served to make ridiculous distractions, and at worst to join the bloodthirsty bandwagon: feminism embracing war with the passion of a recruiter; the neo-Malthusians and their theory of degrowth upholding pauperization as a model; the progressive humanitarians achieving no more than the creation of supermarkets for the poor while their ideologues lay, with the European social democratic governments, the bases for the end of universal health or education systems; and the incapacity and impotence of citizen-ist pacifism and antimilitarism being made perfectly clear.
That is to say, it is not possible to hope for improvement or reforms that would recover the life lost by the working class. The ruling classes cannot permit it lest they risk damaging the capital they serve and neither could the petty bourgeoisie without entering into confrontation with the system, the enterprises and the states to which they are linked.
Only the working class, a class that is universal both in terms of its extension and in the nature of its struggles, can confront the course of the system with demands directed at the need to overcome it.
That is why, during the last year, we followed and focused on struggles like those of the Iranian workers or the wildcat strikes in Great Britain: in a historical epoch in which unions can only be organizers of war capitalism, these struggles pointed the way to confront the warmongering and militarist development of the system in an effective way.
The lessons of history
Insurrection of July 19 in Madrid, the beginning of the Spanish Revolution.
The great revolutionary wave 1917-37 was made possible by the existence of a massive and organized class fabric: the famous space of proletarian democracy whose destruction was the objective of fascism and, since the Spanish Revolution, of Stalinism which had already become the main organizer of the Counterrevolution. A fabric that was effectively destroyed throughout the world between 1928 and sometime around the Second Imperialist World War.
The subsequent experience of mass insurrections and strikes, from 1943 to Iran 2022, shows that, without a class fabric, neither a new power capable of consolidating itself minimally can emerge nor can a class party appear spontaneously.
On the other hand, the experience of the years prior to the Spanish Revolution of '36 in those regions, such as the Spanish South West, the only place in the world where the Communist Left effectively led the class struggle in the 1930s, shows us that overcoming the trade union organization -necessarily absorbed by the state in this epoch- does not mean abandoning the tasks of fomenting class organization outside the periods of open and massive struggle.
On the contrary, what makes class self-organization fruitful in periods of class struggle is precisely the long previous organizational work. Work that occurs in all kinds of spheres that respond to genuine organizational needs and impulses and that is articulated around common physical working-class spaces.
As noted in our report on 2022
Nor can we expect a class movement to appear out of nowhere and by itself, without any prior work, change the game once and for all. Nothing will exonerate us from our own responsibility as workers a little more conscious than the rest. Nothing will eliminate the need to start from the very basics to discuss, organize and create networks and minimal structures that allow us to collectively respond to problems, broaden reflection and organize solidarity when needed.
That is to say, it is a matter of developing the lines of work that we drew up during the most difficult part of the pandemic: to promote the self-organization of the workers in every place and in every sphere we reach.
And if that is our strategic orientation, the tactic would be to redirect hours and capacities towards its realization. That is why, a few months ago, we went from publishing articles in Communia almost daily, to publishing them a couple of times a week.
This does not mean that, in the face of changes in the situation, the appearance of new struggles or worsening of the general conditions, we will not resume the almost-daily character of the publications. We will do so when the situation indicates that it is important and that it is the contribution that corresponds to the concrete moment. But for the moment, the operational priority is to contribute to the organization of all those groups of workers who in principle form a minority and who feel the need to organize to respond to needs that are also their own.
That is where you will find us more, even if it is at the cost of being able to find us a little less frequently on your cell phone.
Join in and do your part
- At work. Meet with co-workers outside the company to discuss the situation, how it affects you collectively and how to react. Invite trusted colleagues from nearby contractors and companies and expand the circle when a shared vision is sufficiently clear.
- In the neighborhood. Identify needs and help address them collectively. From offering remedial classes in order to resist the deterioration of education and the widening class divide in schools to organizing collective purchases to reduce prices of basic goods. Identify what solidarity systems could help in case of layoffs and closures in small companies or establishments in order to organize them in the future.
- Debate and discuss with us the issues you are concerned about and the practical and practical alternatives that arise. We are in the same situation as you.
- Never forget that in every country the enemy is within the country itself, calling for sacrifices and subordinating universal human needs to the benefit of business and investment.